Between Past and Future

Frank Scheffer

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special evening surrounding two of Frank Scheffer’s musical fims

Between Past and Future is a special evening surrounding Frank Scheffer’s documentary Inner Landscape (2019) and the 50-minute opera film Si Fan (2021, world premiere). 

With Inner Landscape in 2019, Scheffer made a documentary about the creation of the chamber opera Si Fan (‘yearnings of love’) composed by Chinese composer Guo Wenjing, which was made for the 2015 Holland Festival. In Si Fan, Guo combines traditional opera from his birth region Sichuan with his own music. ‘When composing, I do not think but follow my heart’, he told Ed Spanjaard, the principal conductor of the Nieuw Ensemble, who came to visit him in China to learn about the secrets of Sichuan opera. Star singer of Sichuan opera Shen Tiemei is also featured in this carefully composed film about the differences between East and West, tradition and modern times. The film Si Fan is a recording of the opera of the same title. 

Besides the screening of this documentary and opera film, Chinese musician Wu Wei will give a short live performance on the sheng, a four thousand years old Chinese bamboo mouth organ. A surround sound system extending the instrument, ‘A Forest of Pipes’, will provide a perspective as it virtually sets the listeners inside the sheng. No. 0 is the first piece for the new soundsystem. The composition  heavily draws inspiration from the theme of the ancient Chinese song Plum Blossoms. Plums are unique in that they blossom in the bitter cold, and this piece aims to capture their beautiful tenacity of life within its melody. 


Besides the screening of this documentary, Chinese musician Wu Wei will give a short live performance on the Sheng, a Chinese mouth organ, taking us on a musical journey from the 7th century Tang dynasty to contemporary electronic music. The film Si Fan is a recording of the opera of the same title.


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